An Overview of PCB Enclosures and Choosing the Right Ones

 In Blog

PCB enclosures are there to help keep your electronic device running by protecting the circuit boards inside of it. Most enclosures are either made of metal, fiberglass, or plastic and are crucial to the PCB being able to work properly. EMS providers often provide a PCB assembly service to OEMs trying to get their products produced. In today’s blog, we will cover important factors for deciding what sort of PCB enclosure you need.

Materials for the Enclosure

There are a variety of materials that can be used to create a PCB enclosure. The metallic material options for this include stainless steel and aluminum. There are more non-metallic options, ranging from fiberglass to a variety of different plastics.

The material that will work best for you depends on durability, availability, cost, and how moldable the material is. While metallic options will be cheaper and last much longer, the plastic options for the enclosure will be easier to shape as you want and will have a higher resistance to corrosion.

Environmental Effects

The climate and environment that circuit boards are used in have a lot to do with the final decision on what material should be used. Consider your target market and try and piece together the environmental effects of running a PCB there. Think of things, such as temperature, required dust resistances, UV rays, humidity, and other similar factors, before deciding on the type of material needed for the enclosure. This decision will be the basis for how long the PCB manages to last in the environment its designed for.

PCB enclosure

Reviewing Performance Standards

Various PCB enclosures come with standardized performance ratings. These ratings are there to let users know what level of protection is offered by the PCB enclosure being used. They even have separate ratings for usage in a hazardous environment vs. in a non-hazardous environment, along with a few other specific ratings for external situations. Review the various ratings of the PCB enclosure options you have and choose one that has the ratings most useful for your product and the environment it needs to be used in.

Proper Application

The final consideration you should have includes the considerations for the final way that the PCB has to be used. While some might just go inside standard electronic devices, many will be used in areas such as pools, factories, or garages. How your PCB enclosure is designed dictates how well it can be used in these spaces. Make sure waterproofing capabilities, access to wall mounts or duct mounts, and how easy it is to access the PCB are all things considered when deciding the type of enclosure that will be used for it.

Choosing the right PCB enclosure also helps dictate who your PCB or EMS provider will be. If you’re having trouble finding the right EMS partner for your project, consider joining our online networking platform; Find an EMS. This platform helps OEMs and EMS providers find partners. Contact our team to sign-up for the free platform.

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